Mythbusters test golf ball-like dimpling on MPG – Click above to watch video after the jump
The Mythbusters must be closet car fans, because the hour-long show on the Discovery Channel seems to be producing more and more experiments involving automobiles than ever before. Their latest again involves fuel efficiency, this time testing if a dirty car is more fuel efficient than a clean one because of the golf ball-like dimpling effect of the dirt. Turns out dirt doesn't make a difference, but Adam and Jamie went one step further to test if covering a car in actual golf ball-like dimples would improve its fuel efficiency. According to cable's most crack scientists, yes, it will.
The show's team completely covered a last-gen Ford Taurus with modelers clay and figured out that it would achieve about 26 mpg at a constant 65 mph. They then went about adding over 1,000 dimples to the car's exterior. To keep the experiment consistent, all 1,082 dimples removed from the clay exterior were put in a box and set in the back seat so that the car would weigh exactly the same as before dimpling. The theory is that, like a golf ball, the dimples would reduce the car's drag through the air, thus allowing it to travel the same distance at the same speed using less fuel. The result? Over 29 mpg.
Follow the jump to watch the whole episode for yourself, though if you're only interested in watching the dimpled car do it's thing, skip ahead to about 40 minutes in.